Wednesday, April 16, 2008

new place

Decided to move to wordpress so my new blog will be at

Lost in Pflugerville

Monday, April 14, 2008

Busy, Busy Busy!

After an exhausting week at work, Gordon and I went to see to Emily in Denton on Friday. Its a long drive - 420 miles round trip but it was great to see her, even if she did seem somewhat stressed out. In fact she was so stressed out by the end of the semester, she burst in to tears whilst we were eating dinner. Much as we tried to reassure her and to say, as long as she is passing the classes, that we aren't expecting straight A's, she will no doubt have spend her weekend stressing. Her college seems much more competitive than either of the other 2's schools or maybe they just hide it better. I thought I would check out the UNT bloggers and yep! they were stressing out big time as well. So I will need to make sure I am calling more frequently in the next few weeks to try and calm her down. Not easy over a phone!

The one good thing is that she knows from next semester, she will only have to do 15 credit hours and a total of 30 each year to complete her degree leading to 120 in total. Originally it was something like 145 which would have entailed 16-17 hours each semester plus summer school if she wanted to complete in 4 yrs. Now she can be assured she will graduate in 4 yrs rather than 5, assuming she doesn't fail any classes, which they all do at one point. But at least now, she would be able to redo them in the summer sessions. Wish they would institute retakes for tests like the UK system as well, as all these extra classes cost so much money!

Anyway, we had a great day with Emily, visiting the Dallas Museum of Art to see the Turner exhibition which was out of this world. I had forgotten how extraordinary his work was but living a 15 min work from the original Tate gallery, he was my earliest idol in the art world but having been 'brought up' with him, I had probably gotten blasé about his work. I don't think there is a modern artist even today who could beat him with his quality of light and abstractness. His work is just amazing, nearly 200 yrs later.

I supsect we will not be visiting the Dallas Museum of Art too often though as driving through Dallas is a nightmare! After neogiating the one way streets, parking was hideously expensive. We spend 2 hours going around the exhibit and were going to have a coffee before looking at some other work, only to discover it closed at 5.00(!!!), which was 10 mins later. We thought the Arts district, must have some interesting places to see or somewhere to eat. No such luck, just a sea of high raised building making the place seem very claustrophobic.

Now I am on my high horse, what is it about modern art buildings, ( American ones at least) that seem to think, high, white wall with nothing on them will induce someone to love art. Yet again on entering the Dallas Art Museum, we were faced by cold, stark white walls which seem to stretch for miles. It has to be one of the most unwelcoming foyers going! Then once you get your ticket, you have walk down a long corridor with nothing on its walls. I have been hospitals that were more welcoming.

Thankfully Turner's art more than made up for the coldness and unfriendliness of the gallery but as I said it would have to an extraordinary artist to get us back again.

I had to work on Saturday but yesterday I had the day off and had an excellent afternoon at the Austin Art Fair. This was the first big event we attended in our first year here, 8 yrs ago. We thought it was big then but its huge now. Most of the art is pretty standard, some of it hideous but quite a few more than interesting. Will definitely going next year, especially if the weather is as good as it was yesterday. A nice cool breeze and only in the mid 70's, just right for walking around looking at art and drinking a couple of beers.

Just thought I would share this photo though. Motor bikes like Europeans ride (not the Harley Davidson fake ones) are becoming increasingly popular around here with the younger generation. Unlike the Harley Davidsons crowd they seem to value their heads and actually wear helmets. However, unfortunately for girls with low rise jeans, clingly on leads to this. My husband could barely keeps his eyes on the road with this immediately in his eyesight!

Anyway after an enjoyable weekend, its back to work, 47 hrs this week!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wow, the 2nd April

and I am still working! and more to the point, enjoying it, despite being rarely in the Frame shop. It appears that this time of year is a slow part of the year for framing so even though they are swamp with work, they don't have the hours to have more than 1 framer at a time on duty. Most days there isn't a framer in the shop until 11 which is the time the head framer arrives. So if you need a frame, goes in the pm, as that is when the framer is most likely to be in.

This "hours" available in retail still baffles me. The same thing happens in all stores from what I can gather. Basically it means if you have slack sales, the staff hours are cut and it varies each week. So if last week was a slow one, this week the hours will be cut so if the shop gets mobbed, there are not any staff available, so staff are called in at late notice ( so might not be available) and the following week there might be more hours because Wednesday was mobbed. And so the merry go round goes on and on.

So if you walk into a shop and there are no staff, it means sales are slack and you are not going to get serve quickly and if like me, that happens to you too many times, (like 3 times in row) you are not going to go back. Too many customers like me and those hours get cut even more, ending up with even more lost customers. Weird way to manage if you ask me but it seems be prevalent in all retail shops.

Anyway all this working is playing havoc with my creative time. I had gotten myself into a routine when I would settle into working in the afternoons and evenings (unless I was feeling miserable which was too often). Now I have to fit it in with the housework and an ever changing timetable. No two weeks are the same at work, which is another of the mysteries of retail. Why can't they do a regular schedule? Each week I see the person responsible for the rota, pulling her hair out putting people, here there and everywhere. Once the rota is posted (like today for next week), you see people trading times as they have already made arrangements for that day. How are people meant to organise their lives if they don't know what hours they are working from week to week. Of course, it comes back to the available 'hours' again.

So basically my creative time is screwed up which means I am not doing very much creative stuff but I am getting there. Last night, despite being really tired, I pushed myself to finish off the curtains I was making. Of course, being a complete novice at this task. it is taking me way too long.

So what else is happening in my life apart from work. Not much to be honest. Alan and Emily are at their respective colleges. Emily appears to be doing well and should pass her finals comfortably. Hopefully we will go and visit her either this weekend or next (depends on my work schedule which is unknown at this moment in time) All too soon she will have completed her first year and then she will moving into an apartment in August.

Alan? Alan, well, lets just say, its in the air at the moment. There may well be decision made re his future in the coming months but whatever they are, he will cope with it. We don't know how his future is panning out but he isn't freaking out about it, so we aren't because only Alan knows what goes on in that head of his. Basically he knows the score as far as we are concerned and only he can decide how that turns out.

Elisabeth is still in San Marcos and somehow, that town has sucked whatever life she had in her, out of her. She seems to have lost that driving force that was with her in the beginning and is settling for what she has which is not the girl we knew and loved. However, she is making the decisions now and its her life. Her father and I have given up on giving any advice because any we give, is just toss to the side. Now I know she will read this and blow hot with rage, saying we don't understand and she will be right, we don't understand. She is almost 23 now, so despite our misgivings about what appears to be a surrender to a life she hates, she is the one who is in charge of her life.

I am sure all our parents when through exactly the same things, in fact, I know my Mum and Dad still worry like mad about all their girls but that is the other part of parenting, letting go and letting the child make the mistakes. Its hard to watch and its hard not to despair but most of the time, it works out because the ground work was done in childhood.

So we are learning to let go and watch from the sidelines, just as we did when they first went to school but now its the real deal. It so bloody hard!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Funny old day

as it seems I have managed to inadvertently offend 2 people.

I am not going to write about how but one person in particular, managed to jar me so much that I realise that maybe knowing something is maybe too much information. Why do I say that? I was given a little nugget of information when I was young and now I am 50. Maybe if the Internet hadn't been invented, it might have stayed being that nugget but even now, 30 -40yrs later (approx) that piece of information niggles in my head. Some years it is put away into a dark closet but in other years, like this one, something happens that brings it back right to forefront. Safe to say that little nugget is now a big nugget.

For people with secrets, the Internet is a bad unhealthy place, because there is no hiding. With DNA testing, there will be no secrets. Things that in history, happened all the time will be destroyed by this new technology because we will not be able to have secrets, especially with all this DNA profiling. Now people, who in not too distant times, quite happily got on with life, knowing their secret was safe within a circle, will always have that fear in their eyes that they will be found out. I opened a fear like that today, I am truly sorry it happened and I truly hope that fear is unfounded.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One week down and done!

Well, I have completed one week of my new job and I am pretty sure I will enjoy it.

Yesterday was my first day doing an 8 hr shift and today I was exhausted! Fortunately, as I am going doing pt, so those sort of hours will be infrequent. Can't imagine how these young mums do 8 hrs on their feet all day and then deal with kids and the house. Makes me really appreciate the fact I have been a stay at home mum, although I wasn't planning on it being this long.

I am now pretty proficient on finishing up a frame now and yesterday finished off 5 or 6 frames. I could have done more but my supervisor was taking a huge order. So whilst I waited I played around with the cutting arm with scraps of foam board and glass. The foam was good but the glass I need more practice. The one thing I don't like is using an bare blade for cutting especially once a foam board has been dry mounted with a print. My fingers are too soft! No doubt they will harden up with time but on yesterday try, I think a 5 yr old could have done better, the edges were so ragged! Fortunately, I had managed to cut outside the line so my supervisor was able to clean things up when I shouted Help!

Anyway, better get going, need to shop and vacuum the carpet before I go into work tonight.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Started my new job

on Sunday and was actually in the framing shop all of my shift yesterday. I loved it! Its the perfect job for me, can't believe I actually go to job which I enjoy. I know its early days yet and maybe, it in month or so, I might not be saying the same thing but so far so good!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Woo Hoo! I have got a job!

I was in Joann's yesterday and noticed that they were advertising for a part-time framer, pay according to experience. I have always fancy doing framing so I thought, why not ask. So I went up to the framing dept and asked how much experience were they looking for? I explained that my experience was limited (to a logan mat cutter) but that I am a quick learner. I also explained I have not had a job for a considerable time (apart from 2.5 months at Sears, that will be 20 yrs) so I am always coming across the difficulty of not having experience on a job, despite being the jack of all trades as a Mum. The head framer gave the store manager a call and I had a sort of impromptu interview. It must have worked as he call this afternoon to give me the job. I start training on Sunday. I must admit despite the pay, not as bad as thought it would be but not great either, I am quite excited about doing this job.

So that has been my day, quite exciting and I had better get practising with the mat cutter - darn where did I put that thing! Joking, too big to lose!

Below a couple of photos:

Spring is here
Some people have been posting the mess their studios are in but on the whole I like to keep my studio clean and tidy. However, the office is another thing! I have been attempting to file this stuff for the last few years and each year it worse, not better each time I attempt to do anything with it. One day I will win the battle.

It use to be that Mo, our eldest cat would not even venture downstairs but not these days. With her at the PC and Skara whilst I am working on in my studio, they can be quite a pain these days. Today, Mo found that sitting on the monitor was great fun!